Published on February 23, 2014
Agenda Objectives and Responsibilities The Effects of Noise Factors Affecting Hearing Loss Hearing Conservation Program Noise Hazard Assessments Noise Exposure and Monitoring Results Audiometric Testing Noise Control Measures Hearing Protection Devices Recordkeeping and Employee Training
Objective The objective of the program is to identify and control noise hazards and protect all employees who have a potential to develop noise induced hearing loss. This program involves all University employees exposed to noise hazards or who have a potential to develop noise induced hearing loss.
Responsibilities Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Contracted Audiologist/Physician Office of Design and Construction Management ( Department Chairpersons and Directors) Supervisors Employees
Responsibilities Occupational Safety and Health Specialist – identifying employees whose position contains potential noise hazards through the BGSU PPE Program; – conducting noise surveys and dosimetry; – coordinating the Hearing Conservation Program;
Responsibilities Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Cont… – consulting with departments to determine whether administrative and/or engineering controls are feasible and how they will be implemented; – making recommendations on any and all matters relating to operation and administration of the Hearing Conservation Program and; – providing appropriate hearing conservation training.
Responsibilities Contracted Audiologist/Physician – performing audiogram evaluations and identifying any anatomical factors that might interfere with the use of the protector or medical condition that might be aggravated; – maintaining audiometric test records and; – managing the Audiometric Testing Program.
Responsibilities Office of Design and Construction – directing and coordinating projects which are directly related to reducing noise.
Responsibilities Management ( Department Chairpersons and Directors) – supplying hearing protection devices at no cost to employees and; – providing employees with adequate training.
Responsibilities Supervisors – ensuring that all employees under their supervision have their work area assessed for noise hazards, using the University’s Personal Protective Equipment Program’s Hazard Assessment and notifying Environmental Health and Safety of changes in process, materials or equipment which may alter noise exposure; – ensuring that noise hazard equipment/areas (greater than or equal to 85 dBA operating noise level) are properly labeled or posted;
Responsibilities Supervisors Cont… – ensuring that all employees who are included in this Hearing Conservation Program undergo initial audiometric testing, at the designated provider, within the first two weeks of identifying them at risk of occupational noise-induced hearing loss and annually thereafter; – enforcing the use of hearing protection at work at least 14 hours prior to initial and annual audiograms and informing employees of the need to avoid high levels of non-occupational exposure during the 14 hours prior to the audiogram examination;
Responsibilities Supervisors Cont… – ensuring that any noise exposed employees who have terminated employment with the University undergo audiometric testing at the University designated provider prior to leaving the University; – issuing hearing protection devices, and providing employees with the manufacturer’s instructions for use, care, limitations, and warnings;
Responsibilities Supervisors Cont… – ensuring that new employee orientation/training and annual refresher training of employees are provided. Supervisors must arrange this training with Environmental Health and Safety. – enforcing the Hearing Conservation Program by ensuring that all subordinates comply with all facets of the BGSU Hearing Conservation Program, including proper use and care for hearing protection devices and; – providing a copy of the Hearing Conservation Program upon their request
Responsibilities Employees – participating in the audiometric testing program and following the instructions regarding noise exposure prior to testing; – attending the hearing conservation training offered by Environmental Health and Safety, initially and annually thereafter and; – properly using and caring for hearing protective devices where these devices are required and following the hearing conservation program requirements.
The Effects of Noise Psychological – can startle, annoy, and disrupt concentration, sleep, or relaxation. Interference with communication, resulting in interference with job performance and safety. Physiological – noise induced hearing loss, aural pain, or even nausea.
The Effects of Noise (Tab 1) Types of Hearing Loss – Conductive: A hearing problem involving the outer or middle ear. – Sensorineural: A hearing problem involving the inner ear. – Tinnitus: Often occurs in conjunction with hearing loss.
Factors Affecting Hearing Loss Noise Intensity or Sound Pressure Frequency or Pitch Length of Daily Exposure Duration of Exposure in Years Individual Susceptibility Other Factors (disease, genetics, lifestyle, age, etc.)
The Hearing Conservation Program When employee noise exposures equal or exceed a time weighted average sound level of 85 dBA, a hearing conservation program must be implemented. No exposure to continuous, intermittent, or impact noise of a peak C-weighted level of 140 dB shall occur. No exposure shall exceed a time weighted average of 115 dBA for continuous noise.
The Hearing Conservation Program (Tab 2) Introduction Noise Hazard Assessment Employee Inclusion Noise Control Measures Employee Education and Training References
Noise Hazard Assessment Noise exposed workers and/or noise hazards will be identified in the PPE Program through the hazard assessment. Noise monitoring will be completed when a potential noise hazard is identified on the PPE Hazard Assessment. If you feel the need to shout to be heard 3 feet away, the noise level is approaching 85 dBA.
Noise Exposures Source dBA Source dBA Whisper 20 Walkman Refrigerator 40 Woodworking 93-120 Conversation 60 Gun Shot 130-140 Average TV 74 Blender 80 90 Riding Motorcycle 90 Snow Mobile 120 Rock Concert 140
Noise Monitoring Results (Tab 3)
Audiometric Testing All University employees included in the Hearing Conservation Program must undergo initial and annual audiometric testing. These tests are used to gauge hearing loss in affected employees and will be provided at no cost to the employees. The initial test is used as a baseline and the annual test is used to determine if hearing loss has occurred. Results of the exam are discussed on page 9 of the written program.
Audiometric Testing Purpose – Audiometric exams serve as a monitoring function to determine if an STS has occurred; an educational and motivational tool and; a tool for assessing overall program effectiveness.
Audiometric Testing Test Procedures – The audiometric testing procedure tests the employees hearing threshold at a range of different frequencies. – The hearing threshold is the lowest level at which the employee is able to detect the test tone at each frequency and is determined by employee response. – Tests are performed in both ears.
Noise Control Measures Identify noise hazardous equipment. Modify the noise source so it is quieter. Increase distance between the employee and the noise hazard. Limit exposure time. Use hearing protection devices when the above measures are not feasible and/or do not decrease noise levels below a TWA-8 of 85 dBA.
Hearing Protection Devices Purpose of Hearing Protectors Advantages and Disadvantages Attenuation of Various Types Selection Instructions Fitting Use Care
Hearing Protection Devices Purpose of Hearing Protectors – Hearing protection devices include ear plugs (pre-molded, foam rubber, custom molded), ear muffs and canal caps. – The purpose of hearing protection devices is to reduce the harmful auditory and/or annoying effects of sound.
Hearing Protection Devices (Tab 4) Advantages and Disadvantages – Simplified overview of comparative features of earplugs and earmuffs Reference Berger, E.H., L.H. Royster, J.D. Royster, D.P. and Driscoll, M. Layne. The Noise Manual. AIHA Press. May 2000.
Hearing Protection Devices Attenuation – The process of reducing noise to acceptable levels. Attenuation of Various Types – Attenuation is different for different types and styles of hearing protection devices.
Earplugs http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/default.html. National Institute for Occupational Safety.
Earmuffs http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/default.html. National Institute for Occupational Safety.
Hearing Protection Devices (HPD) Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) – HPD’s have an NRR that is used to determine how effectively HPD’s reduce employee exposure by subtracting the NRR from the employees exposure. – However, the NRR does not accurately reflect attenuation and a safety factor of 7 must be used.
Hearing Protection Devices Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Estimated A-weighted TWA under Hearing Protection Employee TWA (dBA) – (NRR - 7dB) A combination of ear muffs and earplugs or other HPD provides greater protection than either device alone.
Hearing Protection Devices Selection Instructions – Employees shall be given the opportunity to select their hearing protection from a variety of suitable types. – As with any personal protective equipment (PPE) careful consideration must be given to comfort and fit. – Employees are more likely to wear PPE that fits correctly. – Contact Environmental Health and Safety before ordering HPD’s.
Hearing Protection Devices (Tab 5) Fitting – Reseat HPD’s throughout the work shift if they become loose or break their seal. – Replacement HPD’s must be obtained from the supervisor when damaged or deteriorated.
Hearing Protection Devices (Tab 5) Fitting – If devices are uncomfortable or problematic, see your supervisor for replacement or alternative devices. It may also be necessary to see the contracted physician for re-fitting. – Never alter or modify HPD’s. Reference Berger, E.H., L.H. Royster, J.D. Royster, D.P. and Driscoll, M. Layne. The Noise Manual. AIHA Press. May 2000.
Hearing Protection Devices Use and Care – Proper fit, use and maintenance instruction are included in the manufacturers recommendations.
Recordkeeping A copy of the Hearing Conservation Program and standard is available to all employees through Environmental Health and Safety or through your supervisor. The contracted audiologist/physician will maintain records of all audiometric tests.
Employee Training Training is required annually for all BGSU employees included in the Hearing Conservation Program.
Summary Objectives and Responsibilities The Effects of Noise Factors Affecting Hearing Loss Hearing Conservation Program Noise Hazard Assessments Noise Exposure and Monitoring Results Audiometric Testing Noise Control Measures Hearing Protection Devices Recordkeeping and Employee Training
Where to Get More Information http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/default.htm . National Institute for Occupational Safety. http://www.osha.gov/.Occupational Safety and Health Administration. http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/envhs/page18435.ht Bowling Green State University. Personal Protective Equipment.
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